If anyone had an excuse not to be at work Tuesday it would be Rathdrum resident Antun Tuskan, whose car was hit by a lightning bolt while on the way to work.
Tuskan was on his way to work, driving down Highway 41, when he saw the lightning storm over Interstate 90 around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday. Just seeing that storm made him nervous, but he got on the freeway, cruising toward Liberty Lake at 70 miles an hour when it happened.
"Out of nowhere I see a flash and hear a loud pop. It wasn't thunder it was more like a pop right by my ear," Tuskan said.
"I looked around me the other side of the freeway everyone stopped," he said.
So Tuskan thought he should stop too. And that's when things went wrong.
"My power brakes went out. Forced the brakes, pull the e-brake up a little bit and got myself to the side," he said.
Tuskan started to smell burnt wire and it dawned on him that someone else didn't get hit with lightning.
At that moment, all he could think of was wanting to see his wife and two kids at home.
With two deflating tires, Tuskan got his Chevy Blazer to Knudsten's Chevrolet; when the tow truck picked it up, the Blazer was still running as it was towed to the dealership.
"Keys out of the ignition, turned off, still running, computer issue," Phil Rohr of Knudtsen's Chevrolet explained.
Tuskan was checked out by a doctor who says he's OK. As for his SUV, he isn't holding out much hope that he'll drive it again. He never thought he'd be the man who'd beat the odds and never wants to put his luck to the test again.
Apparently lightning does strike twice. Knudtsen's reported that there were two vehicles -- including Tuskan's -- which were struck by lightning. Another car was brought in Monday that took an indirect hit, while Tuskan's Blazer took a direct hit.